The University Library supports faculty research in myriad ways, and was pleased to be able to present a program on April 7 highlighting some of the outstanding work being produced by faculty in AU’s schools and colleges. The launch of a new “Books and Beyond” series builds on a former library series, “Celebrating Scholarship,” but recognizing the changing nature of scholarship, it includes both traditional print and electronic publications. This first program honored the work of two faculty authors from the School of International Service and the launch of Kogod School of Business' new web-based publication, Kogod Now. The Library also dedicated this event to the two retiring Deans from those schools, Dr. Richard Durand of the Kogod School of Business and Dr. Louis Goodman of the School of International Service.
Following a light lunch attendees were treated to engaging presentations by the authors and researchers. Everyone present was rapt as Dr. Deborah Brautigam (SIS) recounted the harrowing challenges she faced in getting access to remote locales, sometimes accompanied by armed guards, for her research. Her book, The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2009) looks at the role China is playing in aid and investment in the African continent, and the impact of that role on foreign aid in general. Also honored was SIS Dr. Paul Wapner whose study, Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism (MIT Press, 2010) looks at the duality of naturalism versus mastery over nature and how to seek an appropriate path between the two poles as we take on future environmental efforts.
Moving from books to the “beyond” component of the program, Kogod’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Kathleen Getz and Assistant Dean of Marketing and Strategy Lara Kline presented Kogod’s new electronic publication, Kogod Now, and highlighted some of the exciting research featured there. The first issue of what is planned to be a twice yearly digital magazine focused on the theme of “Peace Through Commerce,” an area of particular research interest for Dr. Getz. Through Kogod Now, the school hopes to make new connections between academic researchers and practitioners. As Dean Durand stated in his introduction,
"Academic research is sometimes viewed as though it were conceived under glass. A beautiful environment in which bright ideas are explored, easily observed and respected, yet somewhat removed from reality and lacking in practical application. Keeping academy achievement to ourselves runs contrary to our endeavors as a business school."
Dedication of works
All four speakers signed copies of their publications which will be held in the Library’s Special Collections. In the case of the digital magazine, a print copy was made available and an e-copy was signed with a stylus on an iPad.
As a special recognition of the deans on the occasion of their retirements, the library added two important titles to its collections: Asia and Latin America: Political, Economic and Multilateral Relations and Review of Marketing Research. Book plates and catalog records will document the dedications. University Librarian Bill Mayer and library collection managers Clement Ho and Michael Matos expressed appreciation for the collaborative efforts between the two schools and the library in acquiring resources and creating new partnerships such as the development of the Graduate Research Center which straddles SIS and the Library.
Response to the program was enthusiastic as reflected in the comments of David Fletcher, Career Advisor in the School of International Service:
"Events such as Books and Beyond that showcase the published works of American University faculty, offer staff and administration the opportunity to hear about research topics and identify resources for learning and collaboration."
The Library plans to host additional programs in this series next year, recognizing work in the other colleges and schools.